This Anatolian breed has to be the only breed to be know by same name throughout Turkey.
Almost all other Turkish breeds are known by different names in different regions of Turkey.
Besides this, Kelebek is the second most known breed in Turkey after takla. There is very limited information the origins of this breed but has to be as old as takla.
In fact, I have serious suspicions that Dönek, Macedonia (Yugoslavia) Dönek and Wuta (Vouta) type of diving breeds have their origins tied to Kelebeks.
BODY STRUCTURE AND BIOLOGY
It is smaller than döneks but, because of its upright stand, looks taller. In general terms its body shape, like most flying pigeons, is relatively short with wide chest and long legs. Tail, shaped like and upside down "V", consists of 14 feathers. Just like every breed with more than 12 tail feathers, kelebek also lacks the above tail gland (Uropygial gland.)
Wings always carried on top of the tail. Compared to pointy shaped Dönek wingtips during the flight, Kelebek’s wingtips are round. The head of kelebek carrying a mid sized beak is shaped boxier compared to döneks. Again, compared to unnoticeable neck of the dönek, kelebek has a more profound neck shape. Eyes can be either black or the light color (greenish yellow called "Çakır" in Turkish).
Some birds can have each eye one of these colors or have each eye half black half light color, which is very common. Legs are always feathered, and the short muffs cover the toes evenly. German sources claim to get young with head crest from kelebeks but, this breed is strictly clean headed.
Color of kelebek depends on the region it is raised in Turkey. In general, it has pied colors but can be seen in self colors also. Today, kelebek breeders give a high importance to color harmony in Turkey. Head and tail-colored white birds are named, based on the colors, black head - black tail, blue head - blue tail or golden head (head and tail red color.)
However, it is not possible to breed this color combination pure (It is not possible to homogenize this pattern.) A pair of colored head and tail birds will mostly give self color and self white young. When a self color bird and a self white paired the young will be mostly head and tail colored. Self colors will give self color young when paired to another self color.
Also, it is very common to see birds with only colored tails. This type of birds usually come with neck marking or colored lines starting at the base of the beak called "mustache" or a large color marking under the beak called "beard".
Pattern known as "akbaş" (white head) has the head, flights and the muffs white the rest of the bird one of red, yellow, blue or black colors. Black colored ones are, like in döneks, called "baska" (another).
Other colorings are the mottle known as "kaplan" (tiger), grizzle and the almond. Kelebeks achieve maturity faster than döneks and give more young per year. They are sensitive to sickness and again compared to döneks much more easy going.
They are known to fly solo. When flown in a kit, they behave like a swarm of bees. They mainly change direction based on the birds flying below them. Flight time, depending on training, will change between half and hour to two hours. Like döneks they gain altitude rapidly once given start. In some regions their high-flying ability is preferred and they can stay at this altitude much longer than döneks. At times, they will disappear from eyesight.
When a dropper is shown they will dive in spirals. Their spins are not tight and quick like döneks. They will also show their spins during flight. Some even tumble but, this is not desired by the breeders. When on the ground they behave like chickens and very rarely fly by them selves.
Unfortunately, in recent years the color patterns and body shape has been taking more importance over the flight abilities. Some breeders even raise them strictly in coops and never fly their stock. I am concerned deeply that the flight abilities of this breed is going to be deteriorating.
BREEDING REGIONS IN TURKEY
Kelebek, just like dönek, is a Western Turkey breed. Head and tail colored kelebeks are raised mainly in Istanbul and more popular than dönek there.
Mustached, bearded, white head & tails and others are raised in the cities of Bursa, Balıkersir, Manisa and their surrounding towns.
In the other hand "kaplan" colors are found in and around Izmir. In the areas where döneks is the primary breed, kelebek is usually the second most popular breed in Turkey.
By Prof. Türker Savaş